Tyehimba Jess’s Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry collection, Olio (2016), presents the sweat and story behind America’s blues, work songs, and church hymns. Part fact, part fiction, Jess’s much anticipated second book weaves sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of mostly unrecorded African American performers. Olio is an effort to understand how they met, resisted, complicated, co-opted, and sometimes defeated attempts to minstrelize them. Tyehimba Jess’s. first book of poetry, leadbelly, was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.” Olio, his second collection, was published by Wave Books in 2016 and received the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.
Presented by the Northwestern University MA/MFA in Creative Writing (Graduate Program), Litowitz Creative Writing Graduate Program.